Beauty & Style, Body Image, Cosmetics, Mental health

Nail Art – Just What The Doctor Ordered

“No one likes getting their nails done more than I do.” ~ Serena Williams

I got my nails done. As my doctor prescribed.

In April last year I began having appointments with my doctor at least once a week. After the mental health crisis team became involved in my treatment she wasn’t willing to prescribe me more than seven days worth of medication at a time. And even when that eventually increased to fourteen, then twenty-eight days, she still wanted me check in to reassure her that I was still, y’know, around.

After a few months of this my doctor became someone I knew almost as much as she was my doctor. So she started prescribing me more than just medicine and therapy.

One appointment in June she told me that I should get my hair cut and my nails done before I saw her again.

And since then she’s taken whether I’ve kept up with maintaining them as a measure of how well I’m doing.

I guess it was a good idea. Having nice nails to look at made me feel a bit better, and spending half an hour every couple of weeks in the company of a not-especially-talkative nail technician was a good way of building my confidence in being around people.

I have gel nails. I read somewhere that they’re better for your nails than acrylics. And I like the way they do them at the salon I go to. They make them short, and quite thin, and round off the tips, so that most people think that I just have really nice nails of my own until I tell them they’re fake. If they were any bigger they probably wouldn’t suit my hands, I have very slender fingers so clunky or square tipped nails wouldn’t really work for me.

My nails grow quite quickly so I need to get infills every two to three weeks. If I leave it as long as six weeks they tend to start breaking. They can be filled down and even clipped in the meantime so that they don’t become impractically long.

I have them painted with a different colour and nail art each time, the ladies at the nail bar I go to are really good and do me some really pretty and delicate patterns. I get loads of compliments on how nice they look.

I’ve let the gel nails grow off a couple of times since I first started having them done. When I first got Natalie Portman she used to like to chew them, but it seemed like a waste of money to have them done only to have them chipped soon after I got home. Anyway, when they were off my own nails seemed perfectly normal and healthy, and they grew just as well as they had before.

My local salon charged me £30 for a full set, including the nails and the nail art, and then £20 a time for infills. I’ve also tried a salon near my friend’s house in London. They charged £40 for a full set and £30 for the infills. They’re very pretty but I think I’ve decided it’s worth it for the therapeutic value as much as for the actual nails. I’m not sure whether I’d decide to spend that much quite so regularly if the nails were all I was getting out of it.

I’d definitely recommend them to anyone who was thinking about it though.


10 thoughts on “Nail Art – Just What The Doctor Ordered”

  1. I like that your doctor treats the whole person and not just the dis-ease. Amazing how the small things can make a difference. We have a lot of small things every day, and the big stuff only happens now and again, so the little ones are the ones to pay attention to 🙂


    1. You know, I’d completely forgotten about that. I’m so used to everyone meaning my cat when they say ‘Natalie Portman’ that I forget that she’s named after an actress. Maybe I should add it to my ‘About Me’ or something.


  2. I love that. What a great doctor. I think it’s seriously so true. How we look after ourselves (and whether we take time for self care – more to the point) is a reflection on how well we’re doing. When we went through some tough times with my brother in law passing away and my husband recovering from injuries, I put myself last time and time again. I would let myself go, gain weight from not living healthy, my nails were neglected and my hair appointments didn’t exist. When things calmed down more, I made a pledge to myself. I would ALWAYS have nice nails. I knew that if I had nice nails, it meant I’d looked after myself. On the whole, I have kept that promise to myself 🙂
    I just need to fix my goddamn hair…


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